On social media recently, a photo of a sheep thanking a dog for saving its whole flock from a wolf attack has gone viral. But, hey, what sort of dog could do such a thing? In both Eurasia and North America, wolves, the largest canine species, are considered the apex predators of their natural habitats. Because they have no natural enemies, they feed on most animals without hesitation, even cattle. They do, however, have some internal foes to contend with.
A courageous shepherd dog saved its sheep from a pack of wolves in the Caucasus Mountains in 2019. A sheep was seen hugging their hero after the dog chased the wolves, and a photo of the touching scene has since gone viral. But what kind of dog is it, and how much do we know about it? A Kangal is the dog in the photo above. It’s acceptable if you’re unfamiliar with this dog breed, which originated in Turkey and is predominantly found in Central Asia. In order to preserve the breed’s line, Turkey has outlawed Kangal exports, making them rather uncommon in the United States.
They’re usually used to keep and protect herds that graze freely in a harsh alpine environment where wolves and other predators are common. Because it not only herds the animals but also lives among them, a Kangal has a particular affinity with them. As a consequence, the animals are fully aware of the dog’s protective instincts. This might explain why the sheep in the photograph are so devoted to their protector. These working dogs may grow to be 85 cm (33 inches) tall and 65 kg in weight (143 lbs).
Despite their tiny size, Kangals have a strong physique with remarkable agility and speed, making them particularly efficient against predators. With an average bite force of 743 PSI, they also hold the record for the greatest biting force among dogs (pounds per square inch). Pit bulls bite with a force of 235 pounds per square inch, while grizzly bears bite with a force of 975 pounds per square inch. Because they live in such a hostile environment, the Kangal has evolved exceptional characteristics over many generations. They have a fighting spirit and are quite brazen and strong-willed. They will defend their flocks at any cost, including their own lives.
Kangals have elastomeric skin on some parts of their body, which can absorb the force of certain bites, reducing suffering and giving them an advantage in fight. Furthermore, the spiked collars shown on the dogs in some of the photos aren’t by accident. Wolves and other wild creatures that hunt cattle regularly bite the necks of dogs, thus spiked collars can help protect them. When these canines are not on duty, though, they are peaceful and have a consistent disposition. They are naturally gentle with children and are kind and sensitive to the humans they trust.
Because the Kangal considers humans to be members of its pack, their instincts tell them not to be aggressive or hostile in our presence. As a result, these Turkish shepherd dogs are devoted and faithful to their masters, as well as guarding what is important to them. When properly schooled, Kangals are capable of recognizing when to calm down, intimidate an opponent, or battle a predator, which is an impressive trait. These species, on the other hand, are not suitable for everyone. Owners often live in dangerous areas where wolves and bears represent a major threat to them and their livestock.
As a result, the Kangal has evolved to serve as a livestock protector. Not a dog who can be confined indoors or just let out in the yard without cause. If they are not adequately exercised and have their skills put to use, they might get bored and nervous, which can lead to destructive behavior and constant barking. These strong-willed and independent dogs have the potential to evolve into sympathetic guardians that cherish their ‘flock’ in the right hands and surroundings. However, because this breed is not your normal huge dog, their owners must be aware of their specific needs.